Natalie Emmerson has her sights set on Washington, D.C., and the résumé she’s compiled at Morse High School will certainly help her get there.

Natalie Emmerson at the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Natalie Emmerson

Emmerson, of Woolwich, is valedictorian for the 148-member senior class, which will celebrate its graduation at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at McMann Field.

Earlier this year, Emmerson was the first Morse student to be selected for the prestigious U.S. Senate Youth Program since 1977. Each year, two students from each state are selected and invited to Washington, D.C., for a week to study the federal government.

“It was amazing,” Emmerson said.

She met Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, among other dignitaries.

She said the experience helped solidify her career plans.


“I know I want to go into public service,” she said. “I’d like to work on Capitol Hill in some capacity, possibly national defense.”

She has already had experience with local and state government — she served as the student representative to the local school board and formed a Women’s Empowerment Club at Morse. Representing the club, she testified last year to the state Judiciary Committee in support of an equal rights amendment to the state constitution to prohibit gender-based discrimination. Her club also recognized 18 Bath-area women for their professional achievements and work with local students.

“I’m proud of the work we have managed to accomplish,” she said.

Emmerson was a student delegate for the Dirigo State program and spent a week in Augusta learning about state government. She was selected to participate in the Cohen Leadership Institute at the University of Maine and completed a course in leadership.

“There’s so much animosity and fear and anger in politics right now, and it feels like every time I read a headline, I feel like we’re going backward,” she said. “I know there’s this generation that I have learned with, that I have worked with, that is passionate. We might not have the tools, but I’m hoping I can learn those tools and bring those tools to D.C.”

Emmerson was captain of the Morse swim team, earning All-State and All-American academic honors.


“Natalie has been incredibly involved in the school community, involved in clubs, athletics, a leader in the classroom clearly,” said Morse Principal Eric Varney.

Emmerson will attend Bowdoin College and plans to study history, anthropology, government and social sciences.

She cherishes her experience at Morse.

“I’m proud of how much I’ve grown as a person,” she said. “The lessons that I’ve learned from teachers here, the friends that I have made, the community that has welcomed me.

“I would not have been able to do it without this community.”

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